Rice flour stew
Rice flour may provide texture in applications like hominy pork stew.

LAS VEGAS — Flour innovations featured flavor, functionality and gluten-free sources in exposition booths at IFT17, the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition held June 25-28 in Las Vegas. Flour was sourced from ancient grains and almonds, as well as rice and green bananas.

Ardent Mills, Denver, showcased its Great Plains Quinoa program, which seeks to develop a reliable supply of the ancient grain through North American production. Most quinoa currently is grown in South America. Quinoa is a small, light-colored grain with a nutty, earthy flavor, according to Ardent Mills, which offers it in the forms of whole grain flour, seeds, crisps and flakes.

Bay State Milling, Quincy, Mass., featured its BeneGrain line of sprouted grains on the expo floor. A potential for nutrition, taste and performance rises during a specific period right after a grain or seed has sprouted, but before it’s a full-fledged plant, according to Bay State Milling. Sprouted whole wheat flour enhances volume, grain texture and crumb texture when compared to conventional whole wheat flour, according to the company. Besides whole wheat, Bay State Milling offers BeneGrain sourced from brown rice, amaranth, millet, quinoa, rye, sorghum, flax seed and chia seed.

Bay State Milling Benegrain sprouted pretzel bites
 Sprouted Whole Grain Pretzel Bites made with BeneGrain Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour and BeneGrain Sprouted Grain Blend

Ingredion Inc., Westchester, Ill., featured its new line of Homecraft Create multi-functional rice flours that help to provide smooth textures in clean label and gluten-free applications. Possible applications for rice flour include baby food, soups and sauces, dairy alternatives, fruit fillings and snack products, and meat, batters and ready meals.

Western Foods, Woodland, Calif., already offers ingredients sourced from rice, millet, sorghum, quinoa, non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. corn, flaxseed, oats, buckwheat and teff. Almond flour will be a new addition as the company is working with Sierra Valley Almonds, Madera, Calif., which offers blanched meal made from California almonds.

The International Agriculture Group, Mooresville, N.C., introduced functional fruit flours with its NuBana green banana flour line. NuBana 100 delivers the processing benefits of a native, cook-up starch with unique viscosifying properties. NuBana P500 delivers a pregelatinized flour, thickens in cold water and has been shown to replace hydrocolloids and stabilize fruit systems.

Banana flour
NuBana green banana flour offers a ratio of amylopectin/amylose that is similar to the ratio in dent corn or potatoes.

NuBana green banana flour is produced when starch content is at its highest, said Rhonda Witwer, vice-president of marketing and business development. The flour contains 75% to 80% amylopectin and 20% to 25% amylose. The ratio of amylopectin/amylose in NuBana is similar to the ratio in dent corn or potatoes, she said.

NuBana flour offers a bland, relatively neutral taste and does not taste like bananas. NuBana flour may replace wheat flour or maltodextrin and is ideal for applications needing viscosity, adhesion or water-binding. Potential applications include beverages, pasta, puddings, coatings, cereal bars, fruit fillings, sauces and salad dressings.